There will be a new coach in charge of the Sharks in Super Rugby next season after it was confirmed that Robert du Preez won’t continue.
Current Sharks chief executive Gary Teichmann said on Wednesday that the under-fire Du Preez – who invoked the ire of the media this year by calling Durban rugby journalists “cockroaches” – will not stay in his post, despite having a contract until 2020.
He was already relieved of his Currie Cup duties following the end of the Super Rugby season, with former junior Sharks coach Sean Everitt appointed.
Du Preez came in for severe criticism after the Sharks blew hot and cold during Super Rugby, with his continued selection of his out-of-form son Robert Junior ahead of Curwin Bosch at flyhalf a particularly hot topic.
They were eventually knocked out in the quarter-finals by the Brumbies in Canberra.
But while a new Super Rugby coach will have to be found, Everitt got off to the worst possible start in the Currie Cup after his team lost 37-13 to Griquas at Kings Park last week.
And now they face another tough encounter with Western Province in Durban on Saturday.
There is further changes in the boardroom, with Eduard Coetzee chosen as the successor to Teichmann as chief executive.
The former Springbok captain is returning to his business interests, but board chairman Stephen Saad said in a statement on Wednesday that Teichmann will still advise the union going forward.
Coetzee is a former Sharks prop who played in France for a number of years, but has been back in Durban as the union’s chief operating officer since 2014.
He will receive his doctorate in business administration from the University of KwaZulu-Natal this year, and did extensive research into rugby administration when completing his masters degree in business innovation at UCT’s Graduate School of Business.
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— The Sharks (@TheSharksZA)
“I am extremely humbled to be appointed as the next CEO of the Sharks. My strategy will be to build on the platform and stability created by Gary during his tenure,” Coetzee said in a statement.
“The basic business principles of corporate governance and financial controls are non-negotiable fundamentals in our business and will be amplified going forward.
“However, as a strategy I believe that people process culture, culture is my strategy and it needs to be worked on daily in order to be effective.
“Driving the Sharks culture will create unity from top to bottom. When the chips are down, absolute alignment is key... a strong culture will align individuals in a tough environment like professional sport.”